Jack Dromey

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Jack Dromey
MP
Frank Sharry and Jack Dromey MP (6357736311).jpg
Frank Sharry and Jack Dromey
Shadow Minister for Policing
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by David Hanson
Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government
In office
7 October 2010 – 7 October 2013
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Lyn Brown
Succeeded by Andy Sawford
Member of Parliament
for Birmingham Erdington
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Siôn Simon
Majority 3,277 (9.2%)
Personal details
Born (1948-09-21) 21 September 1948 (age 66)
Brent, Middlesex, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Harriet Harman
Residence Herne Hill, South London and Suffolk
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Jack Dromey

Jack Dromey (born 21 September 1948) is a British Labour Party politician and trade unionist, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Erdington since the 2010 General Election. He was appointed Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government in the Ed Miliband shadow frontbench and serves as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration.

He was previously the Deputy General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union and the Treasurer of the Labour Party.[1] He is married to Harriet Harman, currently the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Culture Secretary.

Early life and career as a trade unionist[edit]

Dromey was born to Irish parents in Brent and raised in Kilburn, London. He was educated at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Holland Park.[2]

He first came to the public's attention for his involvement in the strike at the Grunwick film processing laboratory in the mid-1970s. The mostly-female Asian workforce at Grunwick went on strike to demand that company boss George Ward recognise their union; instead, Ward dismissed the strikers, leading to a year-long confrontation involving mass picketing and some violence. The strike was unsuccessful.[3]

Dromey was elected Deputy General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, having lost the 2003 election for General Secretary to Tony Woodley by a wide margin. Dromey is active in the Labour Party, serving on its National Executive Committee (NEC).

Donation scandals[edit]

Cash for peerages[edit]

On 15 March 2006, in the Cash for Peerages scandal, Dromey spoke of not being aware - despite his being party treasurer - of £3.5 million loaned to the Labour Party in 2005 by three persons who were subsequently nominated for life peerages (Chai Patel, Sir David Garrard, and Barry Townsley). Loans made on commercial terms, as was claimed to be the case here, are not subject to reporting requirements to the Electoral Commission.

Dromey stated publicly that neither he nor Labour's elected NEC chairman Sir Jeremy Beecham had knowledge of or involvement in the loans and had only become aware when he read about it in the newspapers. Dromey stated that he was regularly consulted about conventional bank loans. As well as announcing his own investigation he called on the Electoral Commission to investigate the issue of political parties taking out loans from non-commercial sources. His resulting report was discussed by the NEC on 21 March 2006.[4]

Labour Party donations scandal[edit]

Dromey was caught up in further financial scandals in 2007 as he was responsible for party finances, which included more than £630,000 in illegal donations from David Abrahams. Dromey again claimed to know nothing of the donations, with critics wondering why he had not examined the issue more closely[5][6] Harriet Harman, Dromey's wife, was also caught up in the affair, as her staff had solicited and accepted illegal donations totalling £5,000.[7]

As a result of this incident, there was growing concern about the fitness of Dromey to act as treasurer and Mark McDonald challenged Dromey for the position at re-election. McDonald argued that more transparency was needed: he was unsuccessful in his challenge.[8][9]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Dromey speaking to Policy Exchange in 2013

Dromey first sought to stand for Labour at the 1997 general election, though he failed to make the shortlist for the Pontefract and Castleford constituency.[10]

Dromey again sought a safe seat in 2007 when there were plans for a general election to be called. The Labour General Secretary at that time Peter Watt later revealed that the trade union Unite had given £1 million in donations on assumption of the safe seat of Wolverhampton North East being given to Dromey.[11][12]

In August 2009 it was revealed that senior Labour figures thought Dromey was likely to be selected in the Leyton and Wanstead constituency for the 2010 general election.[13] The chair of Leyton and Wanstead Constituency Labour Party said he would be "somewhat aggrieved" were Dromey selected[14] and Dromey's wife Harriet Harman had campaigned for all-women shortlists in safe seats.[11] The party's candidates for the constituency were due to be announced in November 2009, though this was delayed for at least two months, with The Daily Telegraph alleging that the announcement was going to be made at the last possible minute so Dromey could be imposed as the candidate using emergency rules.[15] It was revealed in January 2010 that the seat would not be subject to an all-woman shortlist,[16] but the Constituency Labour Party subsequently selected former Hornchurch MP John Cryer as its candidate on 27 February.[17]

In February 2010, Siôn Simon, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington since June 2001, announced his intention to stand down at the imminent general election. The National Executive Committee of the Labour Party swiftly announced that Birmingham Erdington would be an open short-list. Dromey was confirmed to have made that short-list. It was further confirmed on 27 February 2010, that Dromey was selected as the Labour Party candidate for Birmingham Erdington.[18] He was elected on 6 May 2010.[1]

In November 2011 John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards launched an investigation into allegations that Dromey had failed to declare thousands of pounds in salary. Dromey's entry in the register of Members' interests stated he had declined his salary from Unite since entering Parliament. However in October 2011 he changed his entry to state "Between the General Election and 30 October 2010, I received £27,867 in salary."[19] Dromey apologised to the House of Commons on 19 January 2012, in relation to this mistake.

Marriage and family[edit]

Dromey married Harriet Harman in 1982 in the borough of Brent, after meeting her on the picket line of the Grunwick dispute in 1977; Harman was legal advisor to the Grunwick Strike Committee. They have two sons (born February 1983 and November 1984) and a daughter (born January 1987). Labour colleague Patricia Hewitt is godmother to one of their children.[20] The couple decided to send their children to selective schools, the subject of negative comment because it runs counter to Labour Party policy. Dromey served for 10 years on the executive of the National Council for Civil Liberties,[21] a pressure group for which Harman has worked as legal officer.[22]

They have a house in Suffolk,[23] in addition to a home in Herne Hill, South London.[24]

Select committees[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b General Election 2010 Birmingham City Council
  2. ^ https://www.rfu.com/news/2013/february/news-articles/040213_dromey_all_schools
  3. ^ Manzoor, Sarfraz (20 January 2010). "How Asian women made trade union history and shattered stereotypes". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Assinder, Nick (22 March 2006). "Labour moves to close funding row". BBC News. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Knives out for Labour's 'golden couple' Harriet Harman and Jack Dromey". London: Mail Online. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Brown hangs Harman out to dry as three top ministers face questions over sleaze scandal". London: Mail Online. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  7. ^ "Harman did solicit donation". Channel 4 News. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Dromey facing treasurer challenge". BBC News. 5 February 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Harriet Harman's Husband Jack Dromey Challenged For Labour Treasurer". Sky News. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "Election '97: Dromey off safe seat shortlist". London: The Independent. 3 April 1997. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Union gift sparks 'cash for seats' row, The Sunday Times, 27 September 2009
  12. ^ Peter Watt (10 January 2010). "Peter, we've spent 10 years working with Gordon and we don't like him. The more the public get to know, the less they will like him too". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  13. ^ Hennessy, Patrick (15 August 2009). "Harriet Harman's husband, Jack Dromey, lined up for safe Labour seat". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  14. ^ "Activists concerned about possible selection of Harriet Harman's husband". East London and West Essex Guardian. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  15. ^ Gilligan, Andrew (12 November 2009). "'Plot' to give Harriet Harman's husband a safe seat". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  16. ^ Eden, Richard (23 January 2010). "Harriet Harman's husband Jack Dromey may benefit from feminist retreat". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  17. ^ Labour candidate speaks on selection "Labour candidate speaks on selection"]. East London and West Essex Guardian. 28 February 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "Harriet Harman's husband Jack Dromey to stand in next election". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  19. ^ http://www.birminghampost.net/news/politics-news/2011/11/09/birmingham-mp-jack-dromey-accused-of-not-declaring-union-salary-65233-29743248/
  20. ^ Profile: Harriet Harman, Times Online, 22 February 2009
  21. ^ Dromey biodata at the Wayback Machine (archived July 21, 2007)
  22. ^ Beckford, Martin (9 March 2009). "Harriet Harman under attack over bid to water down child pornography law". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  23. ^ Sapsted, David (21 September 2007). "Harriet Harman avoids court over speeding". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2007. 
  24. ^ "Father's rooftop protest goes on". BBC News. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 

External links[edit]

Party websites
Profiles
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Siôn Simon
Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Erdington
2010–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Tony Woodley
Deputy General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union
2003–2007
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
Newly created
Deputy General Secretary of Unite
2007–2010
Served alongside: Graham Goddard (2007–2009)
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Jimmy Elsby
Treasurer of the Labour Party
2004–2010
Succeeded by
Diana Holland